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Introduction to Psychology: The Psychology of Learning

Monash University via FutureLearn


Understand the different ways we learn

How do we learn different behaviours? What effect does biology have on our ability to learn new things?

This course explores the psychology of learning, covering famous historical experiments and current learning theories.

You’ll investigate the difference between instinctive and learned behaviours, and the various approaches to how we learn.

Explore classical conditioning and other learning models

You’ll build on your existing knowledge of the famous Pavlov’s Dog experiment as a form of classical conditioning and further explore operant conditioning and observational learning.

Adding these additional structures allows you to consider the impact of positive and negative consequences on learning behaviours, and the extent to which we learn from watching and imitating others.

Investigate the overlap of biological psychology and learning behaviours

Expanding on your knowledge of biological psychology and developmental psychology developed on earlier courses in this ExpertTrack, you’ll have the chance to combine that knowledge with learning theories to find out how biological factors can influence some forms of learning. You’ll also interpret the influence of behaviourism on the study of learning.

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.


  • The learning process
    • Getting started
    • Types of learning
    • End of week review, and preview
  • Behaviour modification
    • Welcome to the week
    • Reinforcement and behaviour modification
    • Observational learning
    • End of course

Taught by

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy


4.7 rating, based on 107 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 361 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Psychology: The Psychology of Learning

  • Anonymous
    This course was really good. I enjoyed the course and learning about Pavlov and other theorists. I would recommend this course and am looking forward to do further study in Psychology.
  • Anonymous
    Clear, detailed and interesting, this course was accessible and using a range of engaging materials.
  • Anonymous
    I suppose I should really have given this 5 stars as at the end I discovered I had learnt a lot - which is why I do recommend this course. The reservations I have is that I was very familiar, via earlier interest, in this already so much was relati…
  • Anonymous
    This course was for me the perfect opportunity to acquire comprehensible bases that supports many topics related to learning, parenting, motivation and behavior development. It will provide anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge with valuable concepts, examples and information about the different theories and experiments that constitutes an essential part of psychology, and the most important with a better understanding to propose learning activities or strategies applicable to all kinds of environments, not just at the classroom but also at work or home. It was the right choice when deciding how to use well time and other resources at hand.
  • Anonymous
    My name is Rajen Jani and I have completed the course titled, "Introduction to Psychology: The Psychology of Learning" provided by Monash University via FutureLearn.

    I have learnt a lot from this outstanding and well structured course, which is complete with articles, videos, quizzes, and a test at the end.

    I consider myself privileged to have learnt from the Lead Educator Dr. Matthew Mundy (Associate Professor and Director of Education, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University).

    I thank Dr. Mundy, Monash University, and FutureLearn for this amazing e-learning opportunity.
  • Anonymous
    How do people learn different behaviours? How does biology affect our ability to learn new things?

    On this course you will answer these questions and others, exploring the psychology of learning. You will consider the difference between learned and instinctive behaviours and approaches to how we learn - for instance, you’ve probably heard of Pavlov and his dog, an example of classical conditioning. But you’ll also learn about operant conditioning (learning behaviours based on positive or negative consequences), and observational learning (watching other people and imitating their behaviour).
  • Anonymous
    Thank you for the opportunity to enable me to learn from this course. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience of this course. Overall, my feel on the content of this course provides a good introduction to learners who wish to get a grasp on psychology of learning. While there are reading notes and video links provided for learners, perhaps it will be great if the course lecturers can have more of their own lecturing time and videos to engage with participants and to make the course a more in-house experience. Do continue to improve the learning experience for this course.
  • Anonymous
    I'd like to thank the Monash team for this course, I really learnt some wonderful lessons on the Psychology of Learning. Many people including myself have had an unkind fear of psychology in general. I took the course knowing that I wanted to overcome such ignorance on the subject. As a skills development facilitator, I have a much more appreciation on the theory of learning and how it has developed over time.

    I specifically noted the work of Ivan Pavlov, John Watson, Tolman, , Skinner and Bandura. I enjoyed the whole course and particularly the Oparant Conditioning.
  • Anonymous
    For a non-psychology student, I really learnt so much! It's well structured and organised for beginners to scratch the surface of psychology. I really appreciate the additional links given to supplement to main notes, especially the videos demonstrating the experiments done on the giant 'shell-less snail', Sultan the chimp, Skinner's pigeons and the Bobo experiment. I find there are many terms in psychology, sometimes a bit overwhelming that I had to take 1 or 2 days off to really understand and 'get it'. It has been a great learning experience nevertheless!
  • Anonymous
    I found this study course very student-friendly and the added reference inputs/resources used were very helpful in understanding the definition of 'learning' and the practical role of psychology in the sphere of 'learned human behaviour'. This knowledge will certainly be of use to me at my workspace and for my extracurricular activities,etc... - A big thank you to Prof Mundy and his team for designing this easy-to-understand study material and to FL for giving me the opportunity to renew/refresh my learning potential.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed this course more than I expected. It was a great introduction to Psychology and it made me realise I would like to pursue further education in this field. I liked the way the material was presented and it kept me motivated. I also enjoyed the Quiz parts to test my acquired knowledge. Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    Can't thank you enough for making this course available. Every topic on this course particularly has been very relevant and important.
    The topics, references and resources have been very helpful.
    I have learnt a lot on this course. A big thank you to Professor Mundy, Monash University and all participants. It was an amazing experience sharing and learning from all of you.

    It would be great if someone could address a few doubts I raised on the course. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    The introductory psychology courses have undoubtedly been a very good introduction and approach to the different fronts that psychology shows. It is a very complete and recommended course.
  • Anonymous
    Hello, I loved the course and although I am not very good at expressing myself in English, I must admit that it was very interesting and useful for me, thank you very much.
  • Profile image for Lorena Mercedes Iglesias
    Lorena Mercedes Iglesias
    Exelent course.I learned a lot in a short time, it was very clear and concise. I realized that they are things that are used in daily life, at home, work, school
  • Anonymous
    It's one of the most interesting topics for me. It helped me to recall my past and I cherished the moment once again. It is helping me to inderstand the psychology of my clients. Its the study of himan mind and behaviour. Motivation, rewards, reinf…
  • Anonymous
    This is very great, informative and snackable course. Available for degree decision maker, ones who love to expand knowledge, and everyone who is interested.
  • Anonymous
    Really well organized. Provides relevant information when required. All bibliographies added and links to academic as well as practical material available.
  • Davidtaitt
    This course was very educational and effective am hoping to continue my studies in psychology. Keep up the good work
  • Anonymous
    I have learned this course at FutureLearn's website and now I know the way people learn and react in daily lives although we may not notice how the environment is affecting us.

    This course also tell us how we can increase or decrease the frequency of an action through reinforcements or punishments.

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